The Jersey Journal
A current county ordinance obligates contractors performing work for the county to pay their employees a “living wage” of at least $10.88 per hour, or 150 percent of the state’s current $7.25 per hour minimum wage but this ordinance only applies to full-time workers.
Full-time work is defined as working 20 hours or more.
Several vendors have been winning county contracts by underbidding other contractors but many of these vendors use only part-time workers, according to Freeholder Chair Bill O’Dea.
O’Dea said he decided to close the loophole after labor groups including the Hudson County Central Labor Council, told him that companies were circumventing the county’s 2005 ordinance by hiring part-timers.
“This is a historic ordinance,” O’Dea said at yesterday’s caucus meeting about the new ordinance.
According to the proposed ordinance, employers will also have to pay part-timers an hourly vacation benefit stipend equivalent to 2 percent of the county living wage and an hourly medical benefit stipend equivalent to 20 percent of the county living wage.
The new ordinance for the first time requires contractors with full-time employees to provide those employees medical benefits or pay the workers the hourly medical benefit stipend.
Employers paying at least 300 percent of federal minimum wage, or $21.75 per hour, would be exempt from the benefit requirement.
The Hudson County Freeholders are scheduled to vote on the ordinance at Thursday’s meeting, 6 p.m., at the County Annex building, 567 Pavonia Ave.